Juniata Softball Team Earns Playoff Spot
(Posted May 12, 2003)
Huntingdon, PA - The Juniata College softball team's season is not over just yet, as the Eagles have earned a bid in the ECAC South Region softball postseason. After reaching the Commonwealth Conference postseason for the first time since 1982, Juniata will be making their first appearance in the ECAC postseason.
Juniata enters the tournament as the number six seed and will take on third seed Drew University in Madison, N.J. on Wednesday at 3 pm. If the Eagles advance past Drew they will move on to a two-day double elimination format where they will take on the number two seed Rutgers-Camden. The double elimination portion of the tournament will take place at Montclair State on Saturday and Sunday.
By almost any standard the 2003 season has been the most successful in Juniata softball history. The Eagles claimed a program-best 19 wins against 10 losses on the season, and earned a spot on the Commonwealth play-offs for the first time in more than 15 years. Juniata's eight regular-season conference wins also set a new standard for the program. Juniata's success was reflected in conference honors as Amber Helsel (Claysburg-Kimmel/Claysburg) and Becky Herr (Hamburg/Hamburg) were both chosen as first-team All-Commonwealth-Conference performers. Helsel was also tabbed as a Commonwealth player of the week during the season, and Juniata freshman hurler Renae Hobbs (Mount Union/Mount Union) captured Commonwealth pitcher of the week recognition during the campaign.
Juniata suffered two one-run losses over the weekend as they were eliminated from the Commonwealth postseason. Despite not advancing in the Commonwealth postseason, the past two seasons have seen a dramatic turn-around for the Eagle program. From 1998-2001 the Juniata softball team won a combined 18 games, one fewer than they won in this season alone. Juniata closed the regular season with players in the top five in the conference in nearly every pitching and hitting category.
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